The idea of cleanliness in Italy is in arrear of the age; the
brilliancy of the southern climate perhaps in the opinion of the
natives neutralizes dirt. The traveller will not, however, suffer
much annoyance in this respect in hotels and lodgings of the
best class. Those who quit the beaten track, on the other hand,
must be prepared for privations. In the villages the pig (ani-
male nero) appears as a domestic animal, and a privileged in¬
mate of the houses, to which the poultry also have free access.
Iron bedsteads should if possible be selected, as affording less
accommodation to the active class so hostile to repose. Insect-
powder (polvere di Persia, or Keating's) or camphor somewhat re¬
pels their advances. The zanzare, or gnats, are a source of great
annoyance, and often suffering, during the autumn months. Win¬
dows should always be carefully closed before a light is introduced
into the room. Light muslin curtains (zanzieri) round the beds,
masks for the face, and gloves are employed to ward off the attacks
of these pertinacious intruders.
In all the more frequented places good hotels of the first class
are always to be found, the landlords of which are frequently Swiss
and German. Rooms 2'/-2—5 1., bougie 75 c.—1 1., attendance 1 1..
table d'hote 4 1., and so on. Families, for whose reception the
hotels are often specially fitted up, should make an agreement
with the landlord with regard to pension (8—10 1. each). Stran¬
gers are expected to dine at the table d'h6te, otherwise the price
of the room is raised, or the inmate is given to understand that
it is "wanted". French spoken everywhere. Cuisine a mixture of
French and Italian.
The second-class inns are thoroughly Italian, rarely very clean
or comfortable; charges about one-half the above; no table d'hote.
but a trattoria will generally be found connected with the house,
where refreshments a la carte may be procured at any hour. These
establishments will often be found convenient and economical by
the voyageur en garcon, but are of course rarely visited by ladies.
In hotels in the Italian style, especially in the smaller towns,
it is advisable to institute enquiries as to charges beforehand. If
exorbitant demands be made, they may be generally reduced without
difficulty to reasonable limits. An extortionate bill may oven be
reduced although no previous agreement has been made, but this
is never effected without long and vehement discussions.
The best hotels have fixed charges. Attendance, exclusive of
boots and commissionaire, is charged in the bill. This is not
the case in the smaller inns, where 1 1. per diem is usually
divided between the waiter and the facchino, or less for a pro¬
longed stay. Copper coins are never despised by such recipients.
Hotels Garnis are much frequented by those whose stay ex¬
tends to 10—14 days and upwards, and the inmates enjoy Ereater